Cyclists could be killed on a busy Winnersh road a councillor has warned, as plans to build a new Aldi were approved.

The discount supermarket chain wants to build a store on Gazelle Close, just off Reading Road. But safety fears were raised about extra traffic at a nearby junction that some neighbours and councillors warn is already dangerous.

The new Aldi was approved by Wokingham Borough Council’s planning committee on Wednesday, November 13. But at least one member – councillor Michael Firmager – refused to back them, warning: “I don’t want blood on my hands.”

The safety fears are to do with Gazelle Close’s junction onto the busy Reading Road. Drivers exiting onto Reading Road are only allowed to turn left at the junction, which is crossed by a cycle lane. But residents say the banned right turn is often ignored.

READ MORE: Winnersh Aldi could be built if council gives approval

Members of the committee feared that the extra traffic the Aldi would bring would increase the chances of accidents at the junction.

Councillor Firmager said he couldn’t vote to approve the plans unless they included new safety measures at the junction. He said: “I want to vote for this. I’m struggling to do so simply because of that junction.

“We are going to create horrendous accidents on there. I could envisage seeing deaths on there particularly with cyclists. I don’t want blood on my hands.”

Other councillors asked if council officers had considered requiring Aldi to install extra safety measures at the junction as part of the plans, including a traffic island to stop right turns, and traffic lights.

But council highways engineer Gordon Adam said that five different suggestions had been considered – and that none of them would work.

These included a right turn lane onto Reading Road, a lane for cars turning off Reading Road into Gazelle Close, a mini roundabout and traffic signals. Mr Adam said all of these would have caused queuing and worse problems.

Council officers said they did not believe the extra traffic would have an “unacceptable impact” on road safety – and so the plans couldn’t be refused on those grounds.

They also said they accepted Aldi’s measures to deal with the fact that it will be built on a floodplain. The government’s Environment Agency said that the supermarket shouldn’t be built as the site risks being flooded if the nearby River Loddon overflows.

But Wokingham Borough Council planning officers say the shop’s drainage plans are acceptable. They say most of the floodplain will be taken up by the new car park, which the shop will be raised above, and councillors didn’t question this.

Despite this, the flood risk means government minister Michael Gove must be given the chance to consider the plans himself – and potentially block them – before they can go ahead.